January 24, 2009 12:25:59 am
The undertrials will be produced before the court through video conferencing
The ambitious e-court project of the Gujarat High Court,which proposes to link the courtrooms to jails in the state via video conferencing,is expected to help the government save crores of rupees that it spend annually on providing transport and police escort for under-trial prisoners in Gujarat.
As all undertrial prisoners are to be produced before the court every fortnight,the state government had to spend more than
Rs 67 lakh in Ahmedabad only on ferrying the inmates of the Sabarmati Central Jail,said sources.
The e-court project will enable jail authorities to produce under-trial inmates before the court through video conferencing at a special cell set up on the jail premises.
“This in turn will save the government money spent on transportation and police escorts. Importantly,the facility will leave no scope for prisoners to escape from police custody which
happens while they are being taken to a court,” said Keshav Kumar,Inspector General (prisons).
According to the records of Police Bhavan in Gandhinagar,Gujarat has 6,387 undertrials and 6,828 convicted prisoners lodged in its various jails.
“The annual government expenditure on producing before a court all these under-trials every fortnight is estimated to be between rupees one and two crore,” said a Home department official said.
The pilot project of the proposed state-wide e-project will be inaugurated at the Bhadra court near Karanj in the first week of February this year.
A special courtroom on the court premises has been successfully connected to the Sabarmati Central Jail through wireless technology and video conferencing.
The courtroom is fully functional and will be formally inaugurated soon,” said Pradeep P Bhatt,the Registrar General of the Gujarat High Court.
Bhatt said,”The project proposes to have at least one special courtroom [which is connected to the jails wirelessly at each court’s premises across the state.”
According to concerned officials of the city police headquarters at Shahibaug,more than 30 vehicles are sent to the Sabarmati Central Jail every day for ferrying under-trial inmates to various courtrooms.
“Besides,we also use services of more than 250 city police personnel for the work,” said F M Mehta,Assistant Commissioner of Police,city police headquarters. Records reveal that 200 to 250 inmates are taken out of the Sabarmati Central Jail alone every day.
“Total expenditure incurred by the state government for ferrying inmates of the Sabarmati central jail last year has been estimated to be more than Rs 67 lakh,” said Keshav Kumar.
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